Sherry over on Conservatively Bohemian is, amongst many other things, a weaver. She said that she thought that she might try her hand with a spinning wheel. I replied that I had made a working spinning wheel, but it had never been used.
Here it is. I said to her that I would do a post about the parts of a spinning wheel, as they fascinate me. But first let me set the scene.
In Britain an old fashioned name for an unmarried woman was, Spinster. They reckon that years ago these women were usually quite young and would stay at home to look after the children. They also did the spinning. They would sit spinning the yarn on the wheel, as they 'spun yarns' (told stories) to the children.
When she married the spinster would change her family (maiden) name to her husband's family name. However, another name for 'maiden-name' was 'Distaff'. At the top of the spinning wheel is a post called the Distaff.
Just below it, but hard to see from this angle is, the 'Mother-of-all' it is a thick horizontal cylinder of mahogany (you can see the end of it on the extreme right). From it project the two 'maidens' which between them hold the 'spinner.'
|The Mother-of-all, Maidens and Spinner.|
This all sounds a little sexist ... so let me introduce some fellows, to bring some equality into the story. If you look back at the first picture, you may see that I made the actual wheel part from joining 8 pieces of wood - see how the grain varies? Well these are the 8 'Felloes' (pronounced the same as Fellows). But that is not all the males have to do, for, joining the foot treadle to the brass piece at the centre of the wheel, is, 'The Footman'.
Hope you didn't find this too boring.